Israel’s Aliyah and Integration Minister Ofir Sofer on Monday hosted a group of new immigrants who enlisted in the army as lone soldiers. The troops received the President’s Excellence Award on Israel’s 75th Independence Day: April 25.
“I was very excited to meet the outstanding soldiers and hear their stories,” said Sofer.
A “lone soldier” is defined by the Israeli military as one without parents in Israel, or who is estranged from their parents.
“Each soldier has a unique and moving story that led them to this point, and behind them are parents who support and encourage their aliyah [immigration] and meaningful service in the Israeli Defense Forces. In my opinion, soldiers that have made aliyah exhibit an unparalleled uniqueness that combines aliyah and the protection of our nation, which is very special,” the minister continued.
The soldiers were presented with a framed certificate of appreciation and a special gift at the event, which was organized by Lt. Col. Oded Nahari, commander of the IDF Ceremonies and Events Unit, and the Aliyah and Integration Ministry.
According to the Lone Soldier Center, a total of 7,000 lone soldiers are currently serving in the IDF.